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Eleanor 1st Lady of Radio

Lesson Author
Required Time Frame
1 class period
Grade Level(s)
Lesson Abstract
Students will read and analyze the two parts of Eleanor Roosevelt's radio broadcast on Dec. 7, 1941. Through class & small group discussion, students will analyze what Eleanor’s message was intended to be and how it was delivered. Students will identify the talking points and how they differ from the original broadcast. Students will consider the effect of Eleanor’s speech, being the first, to address the attack on Pearl Harbor from the White House. Students will conclude the lesson with listening to the radio broadcast and discuss how hearing her voice might change tone of the speech they read.
Rationale (why are you doing this?)


  • Focus on the role of women leaders in a time crisis.


Lesson Objectives - the student will


  • Students will be able to identify particular rhetoric that is applied in time of crisis.
  • Students will be able to identify traditional and nontraditional roles of women leaders.
District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met


Missouri Priority Standards

  • 9-12. AH.1.CC.B
  • 9-12.AH.1.PC. A
  • 9-12.AH.1.PC. B
  • 9-12. AH.4.CC.B
Primary sources needed (document, photograph, artifact, diary or letter, audio or visual recording, etc.) needed
Fully describe the activity or assignment in detail. What will both the teacher and the students do?


  • Bell work (Starter): Have students brainstorm what was going on in the United States and within the World prior to the end of 1941. This can be done in a form of a pad let/post it notes/list.
  • Background:
  • Eleanor Roosevelt, Typescript of opening remarks for her NBC radio program, Dec. 7, 1941. During the late afternoon, Eleanor typed new opening remarks for her Sunday evening radio program. Her final handwritten changes can be found on t